Premier League return: Balance between safety and normality key, says Gordon Taylor

Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor says getting the balance between safety and normality is key in the Premier League returning.

The Premier League is expected to hold conference calls with club captains, managers and medical experts on Wednesday and will focus on the issue of player welfare.

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“It’s never easy when we’ve had over six weeks of being told to stay inside, and the next minutes it’s the start of what’s being perceived as the easing of these restrictions,” Taylor said.

“The players don’t want to be seen as guinea pigs and that will apply to everyone in professional sport.

“It’s about getting the balance of safety and also trying to get back to normality as much as possible.”

Taylor also added that he wanted to attempt to quell any fears BAME players may have about returning to action.

Figures released by NHS England at the end of April showed the continuing trend of people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background being disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

Taylor said: “We need to make sure our BAME players are properly protected if there is an incidence of higher rates with those players.

“We need to give everyone confidence that every single safety measure has been taken on their behalf.”

Clubs hope to resume training on Monday, but only if there is an agreement with players and managers following the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League players will also be required to provide written confirmation that they agree to their club’s new safety measures before they return to group training.

Taylor said returning to training will be a “five-step process” and wants to ensure players that it will be as safe as possible.

“Thinking about returning to training, it’s going to be a staged process. There’s going to be five steps and it’s caution all the way,” he said.

“We’ll put our toe back into the water as things are eased back in, mindful that there could be a backbite and that’s where the medical experts come in.

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